Japan aims to boost per capita income by 1.5 mil. yen in 10 yrs

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday his government aims to boost Japan's per capita gross national income by more than 1.5 million yen ($14,970) in 10 years under the upcoming economic growth strategy, centering on the leveraging of private investment.

In his speech at a Tokyo hotel to announce the last elements of the strategy, Abe also pledged to allow the online sales of over-the-counter drugs in Japan and set up special economic zones in which deregulation can be promoted, emphasizing the vigor of the private sector is vital for growth.

Japan's GNI stood at about 3.84 million yen per person in fiscal 2012 ended March, according to the latest data released by the Cabinet Office. With the stimulus, it would eventually grow over 3 percent per annum and can realize an over 1.5 million yen increase in 10 years, Abe said.

Expansion of business through the Internet will enhance "convenience in national life," the premier said, adding the government will "lift the ban on (online) sales of nonprescription drugs under appropriate rules, while ensuring the safety of consumers."

Abe also expressed his eagerness to establish special economic zones in the country in an attempt to spur the economy by bolstering investment and attracting businesses and human resources from overseas.

In addition to deregulation to prop up investment, the government will create a new system that would permit foreign doctors to practice medicine in the special zones and ease the current requirements to set up international schools, the premier said.

To promote reform in the country's power utility sector, Abe said his administration will help increase electricity-related investment over the next decade to 30 trillion yen, one and half times as large as that in the past 10 years.

"We'll invest in and shore up all energy technologies at home and develop them worldwide. This is the only way for resource-poor Japan to survive," Abe said.

Abe, meanwhile, clarified that Japan will set a target of augmenting the total amount of business investment by 10 percent during the next three years to bring it up to around 70 trillion yen, equivalent to the level seen before the 2008 financial crisis.

As he is eager to become the top salesman of Japanese state-of-the-art technologies and products, his government will aim to triple exports of infrastructure-related business to 30 trillion yen by 2020, Abe also said.

The Cabinet is scheduled to endorse the growth strategy on June 14. It is one of the "three arrows" of the premier's economic policies, dubbed "Abenomics," designed to shake Japan's economy out of nearly two decades of deflation, along with aggressive monetary easing and large-scale public works projects.

Abe plans to explain the strategy to his Group of Eight counterparts during their summit in Northern Ireland slated for June 17 to 18.